Sunday, June 6, 2010

Knocking Off Those Cool Indian Prints on Yoga Tops

But do I have $49 to $64 to spare for a tank top? Nope.

However, I do have yummy cream knit from Vogue Fabrics. It's bamboo, it's incredibly soft and I can't wait to play with it and sew it up. And I have a mile-high stack of scrapbook papers, many of them with Indian and Asian-inspired prints. I go gaga over paisley print paper. I have a scanner, photo editing software, a printer and transfer paper for fabric, and of course there's an iron or two around the house. If you have these things, you have what you need to make a one-of-a-kind printed top.

I've also gotten into hooping so I need some close-fitting comfortable knit tops. My sister, who is a fitness instructor, plans to teach hooping as a certified instructor, and when she told me about it, I thought (as you may be thinking) what the heck is hooping? Well watch these videos of hooping -- it looks like great fun and fabulous exercise! So I now have a Hoopnotica hoop -- I got The Vamp and my sister just ordered yet another to add to her collection, The Diva. Check out these LED hoops -- imagine a bunch of people out in the yard at night using these, what a sight!

And yes you do break a sweat when hooping. You feel it in your torso, hips, thighs, arms. Put on some music, start playing, it's fun!
So tops like the Athleta print tanks would be perfect for hooping. Here's what I plan to do:

1) Grab my favorite Kwik Sew TNT tank top and knit pant pattern, 3115. I may modify it to a scoop neck:

2) Pre-wash bamboo knit from Vogue Fabrics. They have many colors (check out the celery & olive colors, yum!!), I picked mine up at the Evanston store after petting the fabric. So so soft. Good recovery and the cream is thick and opaque. That's hard to find in a cream or white knit. I snapped it up. Bonus for working it, it's microbial fabric?!?

3) Choose a piece of scrapbook paper with a print that I'd want on a top. Something with paisley like this:

4) Scan the paper, or you could photograph it at hi-res with a digital camera. An iPhone or other camera phone probably wouldn't deliver good enough resolution.

5) Open the image in photo editing software. I use Photoshop, and I would remove elements and rotate some, enlarge some elements, and play with the image until I got a pleasing design. Who knows, I may even combine and layer images from different papers. You could do symmetrical or assymmetrical design.

Here's some inspiration, big and small prints:




Asana Green


Paragon Sports (unfortunate hummingbird positioning?!)

6) Print the image on T-shirt transfer paper. Some papers leave a big unattractive plasticy splotch on the clothing. Some transfers do a better job of transferring just ink. I am not an expert on the best products but will certainly be researching this before I get to this stage. Anyone have recommendations? Also unknown is how durable the ink is over repeated washings.

 - or -

An alternative is to have your design printed on knit fabric by a digital fabric printer. Make sure you layout your design so you can cut the pattern so the design is placed in the location where you want it. Many samples shown by these services show designs covering the entire fabric, but you don't need to do that. Fabric on Demand will print on lycra spandex. Karma Kraft has a cotton jersey knit. Spoonflower has organic cotton interlock knit.

7) Sew your creative, one-of-a-kind printed yoga top!

My creation coming soon ...

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